The original reports on hush-money payments that forced WWE CEO Vince McMahon to indefinitely step down from his role with the promotion were seemingly just the tip of the iceberg of his reprehensible conduct leading the billion-dollar organization over the last two decades.
In June, the Wall Street Journal broke the news that in January McMahon had made a $3 million hush-money pact with a former paralegal that he had an affair with. The report sent shockwaves through the company and led the 76-year-old to step down from his role overseeing the business side of WWE. However, he stayed on to lead the company’s creative department for their weekly broadcasts.
In his place, his daughter, Stephanie McMahon, stepped in as WWE’s interim CEO.
WWE’s Vince McMahon reportedly sent nude photos and sexually harassed a female contractor in 2008
Well, a new report from the WSJ on Friday reveals that the payment to the paralegal was just one of four different seven-figure checks made to women over the last 16 years.
The outlet claims, according to people familiar with the matter, the most recent hush payment occurred in 2018 when McMahon gave $7.5 million to a former wrestler after she claimed he “coerced her into giving him oral sex, then demoted her and, ultimately, declined to renew her contract in 2005 after she resisted further sexual encounters.”
In another unreported deal, a female contractor for the company came forward with nude photos the CEO had sent her, as well as claims of sexual harassment from McMahon. She reportedly received a $1 million payment after signing a non-disclosure agreement in 2008.
Then in 2006, an agreement was reached with a long-time employee to keep quiet about a “sexual relationship” with McMahon. This woman also received a $1 million payment as a part of the agreement.
The WWE board of directors is currently investigating the various claims against McMahon, as well as allegations against company executive John Laurinaitis. After the head of talent relations also reportedly had a sexual relationship with the same paralegal McMahon paid off earlier this year, as well as a non-disclosure pact Laurinaitis agreed to with a WWE employee in 2012.
Since the scandal became public, McMahon has not kept a low profile and actually increased his presence on WWE television. He was also Octagon-side at UFC 276 on July 2 and was shown on camera before the night’s main event.